Microsoft has announced that it has reduced its Xbox One launch wave of countries from 21 to 13 that will receive the console when it rolls out in November 2013. The reason for the reduced launch wave is to cater to demand, says Microsoft.
The new launch countries are: Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Spain, United Kingdom, United States, and New Zealand.
Notably South Africa is not on that list; unsurprisingly since we were also not on the list of 21 originally planned launch countries.
We are still awaiting news from Microsoft Xbox SA who previously said they would be doing what they can to ensure the console comes to our shore as soon as possible.
It’s a reasonable line to toe as they are bound by what the Microsoft mothership decides. This new, reduced wave of launch countries does not bode well for those hoping to see the Xbox One on our shelves in time for Christmas 2013 – but we are not alone.
Gamers from the originally planned wave in Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Sweden, and Switzerland will now be scrambling to find out what happens to their pre-orders placed (as per Microsoft’s suggestion). To offer appeasement, Microsoft will chuck in a free game for those who have already pre-ordered their console in those markets.
Microsoft said it remains committed to launching Xbox One in those dropped countries as soon as possible in 2014; while the rest of the world waits to find out when the console will be available in their home land.
Microsoft said there are a number of factors that determine the timing of specific market launches. These include “work to localize the Xbox One dash, incorporate additional voice and languages, and build partnerships to bring apps and meaningful local content to each country.”